Saturday, July 2, 2016

Museum of Glass Tacoma: Creation in Motion

The Cone of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma represents the wood-fire sawmills of the region's past.

Acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly hails from Tacoma, Washington so it is entirely fitting that the city would become home to the Museum of Glass. Opened in 2002, the museum not only houses an inspirational collection of glass art but the largest Hot Shop in the Pacific Northwest. The structure's stunning cone cuts a striking presence into the Tacoma skyline and pays homage to the wood-burning sawmills once populating the region.

Glass art in the lobby of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.
Glass art in the lobby of the Museum of Glass.
Indoors, an airy lobby yields to galleries on one side and the Hot Shop Amphitheater on the other. We began our day in the Amphitheater. The theater features stadium seating that gives the audience great views of the action in the Hot Shop.

Hot Shop demonstrating glassblowing at Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.
Hot Shop demonstrating glassblowing
The Hot Shop show is certainly not to be missed! We opted to watch the active glassblowing for about 30 minutes and then circle around again after visiting the galleries. That way, you get to see a bit more of the progress. A docent explains the process as you watch, so you really get an understanding of glassblowing.

Active glassblowing at Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.
Active glassblowing
Exploration of the galleries quickly yields an appreciation of the sheer talent of glass artists. Trust me, you will have many moments of "how did they do that?" while exploring.

Glass paintbrushes at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
Glass paintbrushes. How cool!
A #BetheCurator exhibit afforded a fun opportunity to vote for your favorite artist in the exhibit. The winner will win an Artist in Residency opportunity in 2017. Artists featured were from the Pacific Northwest as well as all over the world! My favorite--the flaming glass guitar!

Glass guitar at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.
Glass guitar coolness!
Outside, the Bridge of Glass created in a collaboration between Dale Chihuly and the Museum provides a pathway to the downtown area of Tacoma. We experienced the bridge both in the evening and during the day preferring our visit on a sunny morning. However, the overhead portion is a bit more spectacular in the evening. So, see it both during the day and at night if you can!

Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma, WA created by Dale Chihuly in collaboration with Museum of Glass.
Chihuly Bridge of Glass
Bridge of Glass by Dale Chihuly at night.
Bridge of Glass at night.

Bridge of Glass created by Dale Chihuly at night in Tacoma Washington
Vibrant glass at night!
While outdoors, also take some time to ponder while observing Fluent Steps. Such a beautiful melding of water and glass.

Fluent Steps at Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA
Fluent Steps
Water Forest is another outdoor sculpture that allows visitors to walk through sculpture.

Water Glass sculpture in Tacoma, WA
Water Glass
The Museum of Glass is certainly a not-to-be-missed adventure in Tacoma. The opportunity to see creation in motion is intriguing and sparks innovation in adults and kids alike. Glass creations in the Museum provide the perfect occasion for marveling at wonders. Truly one of our favorite experiences in Tacoma!

Things to know:
  • The Museum of Glass hosts visiting artists and also has artists in residence. Really a great way to see creative minds in action!
  • Pause during your walk up to the bridge to take in some great views.
  • The gift shop does have glass items made in Washington and other places in the US as well as throughout the world. Items made in Washington are labeled, so watch out for those.
  • There is a cafe with in the museum for a little bite.
  • There is a museum pass available if you are interested in visiting multiple museums in Tacoma's Museum District.
**Thank you to Travel Tacoma for hosting our visit! Complimentary admission was provided to bring you this review!
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